If you’re a Defacto regular you’ll know me as the resident blog writer by now, if it’s your first time… Hi, I’m Natalie! Since this is a beauty based blog I thought I would share the story of how I fell in love with all things beauty.
I wasn’t always into beauty. At a young age I was more of a tomboy and at that age I thought I would always be that way. I liked wearing camo and jeans with chains (I thought it was cool at the time!) and I didn’t really have an interest in make up. If my past self could see me now she would be very shocked.
My first foray into beauty was around the age of 13 where I delved into the world of emo culture. Im sure a lot of people from my generation will either have been there or have been highly aware of ‘the emo phase’. This is the only photo that exists of this time and it’s not even that emo:
I started a relationship with black eyeliner on the weekends that has never truly died. However, any other kind of make up was deemed “too girly” for me. Honestly I was interested on the down low but didn’t want to let on incase it ruined my rep as a “misunderstood”, non-mainstream teen. At this point in my high school career I was surrounded by girls diving head first into using make up, resulting in a lot of foundation chinstraps, orange shirt collars, electric blue eye shadow and spidery mascara. We’ve all been there I’m sure…
I gradually moved out of my emo phase and into this kind of weird “quirky” era of my life, where I wore loud patterns, glasses that were far too big for me and whatever random things that I could clip into my hair. Depicted below:
It was around this time (I must have been 15ish) I began using foundation. I started off with a cheap low coverage formula from a brand I found in Boots. If memory serves it was by the Colour Foundation by Natural Collection, but it wasn’t long before I graduated to a serious foundation. That being, Estee Lauder’s Double Wear in the shade 1C0 Shell and I still use this to this day, I never ever found a foundation that matched it and my pocket money didn’t quite have the reach to justify buy high end foundations to test. My mum wore it too (in a darker shade because we’re not all Wednesday Addams) and I trusted her judgment. This is when I truly started getting into make up.
My mum always bought high quality make up and in the end I did too. Although, to me, my mum is a very beautiful woman, she was never heavily into make up (maybe she just didn’t need it) and so what she taught me about make up was the basics and to always buy good quality brands. Thank god I was born in the generation of YouTube that’s all I can tell you. So all my skills became self-taught and I loved playing around and trying out new looks. Unfortunately this meant I decided to wax my eyebrows too. I’ve always had very full eyebrows but when I was in my teens we hadn’t quite hit Cara Delevigne’s reign yet so I waxed them down to sad little darts that I thought looked better. (Note: if you’re a teen DO NOT wax your eyebrows down to nothing, it looks bad).
In what I assume was me yearning for my fallen brows, a year or so later I was in full swing with the beauty products. I was ‘filling in’ my eyebrows, obsessed with Urban Decay eye shadows and began my affair with red lipstick. I use the term filling in loosely, as to be honest, there wasn’t much to fill in and when I did it they looked so penciled in and fake. But that’s okay! It’s all part of the learning process.
Many YouTube videos and eyeliners later, I was getting somewhere, I became inspired by vintage make up and stars like Dita Von Teese and my love for panda eyes never left and now took place in the form of a heavy smoky eye. My eyebrows had also started growing back! My small collection of Yves Saint Laurent lipsticks grew whenever it could and I had gathered so many eye palettes I could sell them.
At this point I thought I was practically a beauty guru, I was complimented on my make up skills frequently and I had now advanced to false lashes and hair extensions. Around this time I realised how much I loved make up and beauty. The feeling of sitting in front of a mirror and transforming yourself and highlighting your features fascinated me. The idea that woman applied make up to impress others (typically men) alluded me, I applied make up for myself. I applied it because it was like art to me, I loved all the colours and I loved looking at myself and feeling confident. I had a bit of a journey to the way I do my make up now but the basis for my infatuation with it set in around this time. It may not have looked the best but I loved it anyway.
As my eyebrows came back, thicker than before somehow, I learnt that powder and gel to define them made them look much more natural. I discovered how to blend my eye shadow properly, how to contour and highlight, how to pin curl my hair to make it look more authentically vintage and my passion for beauty grew and it continues to grow. Now I have my beauty staples that I cant do without; my foundation, my brow kit, my favourite naked palettes and my favourite lipsticks. Current stand outs are MAC’s Russian Red, Velvet Teddy and Charlotte Tilbury’s Very Victoria.
I don’t stick to one thing; I try vintage looks and experiment with weird make up hacks (currently loving the baby powder as setting powder one, very good for my pale skin). I try smoky eyes with berry-toned shades and I’m contemplating if I could rock a black lip. I love sharp, winged eyeliner and love smoked out, smudged liner. I love nude lips, dark lips and red lips. I love hair extensions and wigs and false eyelashes. I still want to try thousands of different products and I know I probably still have so much to learn but I like being able to change my outward appearance to suit how I feel that day. I fell in love with make up and beauty because it gave me confidence in myself and it allowed me to experiment with how I wanted to look!
I’m 21 now and I really like how I do my make up, I might over line my lips sometimes and I might make my brows too dark on the odd occasion but that doesn’t matter. Beauty is about self-expression; it’s not always about having the perfect cut crease or artful bed head it’s about looking how you want to look. If you want to dye your hair turquoise then you should, if you want to be covered in tattoos you should be and if you want to look like a Kardashian go for it! Lord knows I wouldn’t be upset if I looked like a Kardashian. In the end beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and you should be the beholder and be the kind of beautiful you want to be.
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